Planning Your Restaurant Meal


By Matt O’Neill, Dietitian –


With a little planning, restaurant meals need not be a large stumbling block in your diet. Here are some tips to build your own list of restaurant rules. Tick the ones will might like to try?


Before you go:

¨   If you can, choose a restaurant that will accommodate your needs.

¨   Have a snack to avoid feeling ravenous when you arrive.

¨   Drink water on the way to fill your stomach.


When you arrive:

¨   Ask for a jug of water and glasses for everyone.

¨   Avoid ordering bread for nibbles or have it removed from the table.



Sometimes, it can be wiser to abstain from alcohol. Here’s how to do it:

¨   Drink lots of water before or when you arrive at the restaurant.

¨   Be prepared to say “No thanks!” to a pre-dinner drink offer.

¨   Leave your wine glass full. Fellow diners can’t refill a full glass.

¨   Volunteer to be the designated driver.


Ordering food:

¨   Study the menu carefully and ask questions. How is the food prepared? Will the chef make modifications for you?

¨   If you order a starter, make it a low-fat soup or salad.

¨   Choose an entrée or ½ portion size serve for your main meal.


When eating:

¨   Eat slowly, take your time and you’ll feel fuller on fewer calories.

¨   You don’t have to clean your plate. It’s better to go in the waste than around your waist!


After eating:

¨   If you tend to pick at your plate, have it removed immediately.

¨   Take your toothpaste and brush and clean your teeth after your main course. You’ll be less inclined to have sweets.

¨   If you have dessert, ask for fruit.

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Yours sincerely

Denver Oliveux

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